Career Guide. Supply Chain Management. A University of San Francisco Online White Paper

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1 Supply Chain Management Career Guide A University of San Francisco Online White Paper 1

2 Your supply chain can be as simple or as complex as your business demands, but it is critical because it essentially controls the flow of products and information your company needs to continue operating. Products and information equate to the capital your business has and that s what keeps your business running.

3 Table of Contents Supply Chain Management Flow...4 Why the Supply Chain Matters... 5 Supply Chain Management and Logistics... 5 The Global Outlook... 6 Potential Career Paths... 6 Promotion Potential... 8 Supply Chain Management Going Green... 8 References

4 Supply Chain Management Career Guide Supply chain management (SCM) is the process of tracking various product materials as they move from the supplier to the consumer via the manufacturer and wholesaler. SCM includes coordinating product and supply movement between the different points of contact that are involved during the phases of product manufacturing and sales. SCM is directly related to a company s operational cohesion and efficiency. SCM reaches everything from customer reception to overall company success. The goal of supply chain management is to cut out excess product inventory while always having products at the ready whenever they re needed. SCM plays a role in global company growth, environmental responsibility issues and even gas price fluctuations and how that affects the transport of certain products. Your supply chain can be as simple or as complex as your business demands, but it s critical because it essentially controls the flow of products and information your company needs to continue operating. Products and information equate to the capital your business has and that s what keeps your business running. Supply chain management flow Supply chain management flows can be broken down into three main categories: Did You Know? The product flow: Product flow tracks the movement of goods as they leave the supplier and make it to the consumer. Returns or additional service required is included in the product flow. The finances flow: Payment schedules and dealings with credit and ownership are what make up this flow in SCM. The information flow: The information flow deals with processing orders and keeping the consumer in the loop when it comes to the status of their product s delivery. SCM plays a role in global company growth, environmental responsibility issues and even gas price fluctuations. 4

5 Why the supply chain matters At the end of the process lies arguably the most important facet, the customer. Supply chains are amorphous and not necessarily linear, but they all end with the customer. Supply chains are structures working with ordering, analytics, product demand and whatever else the company needs, but in the end, it s all about keeping customers happy. Here are a few important aspects of SCM and how they involve the customer: Time: Effective supply chains get products to customers quickly. Avoiding delays - with manufacturing, shipping or the retailer - is a cornerstone to a successful SCM program. Communication: People skills drive supply chains. Coordination between different departments and sometimes different companies is how supply chains get the job done. Therefore, needs and expectations must be clearly expressed to avoid delays in the process. Promotes customer service: Ensuring the right products are readily available to the customer is what keeps them happy and coming back for more. Also, the process doesn t end once a purchase is made. Good SCM provides customer support after the sale as well. Successful SCM increases revenue: SCM experts are valuable to companies because they streamline so many different processes. Products spend less time in costly warehouse facilities and make it to the customer sooner, which in turn decreases the turnaround time for the next batch of products. Supply Chain Management and Logistics Supply chain management works hand in hand with logistics to peel back the curtain and pinpoint the exact point where company inefficiencies arise. According to John P. Wiehoff, CEO and chairman of the board of truckload transportation services company C. H. Robinson, Companies are almost forced to use supply chain as a competitive advantage, and that puts pressure on us to understand their business strategy. When it comes to logistics, SCM is changing the landscape, especially with regards to three key industry phases: The data: SCM is reshaping the logistics industry by focusing on different ways to quantify and disseminate boatloads of data. Now, more than ever before, company owners must invest in IT infrastructure to handle and properly examine the facts and figures that hide key business 5

6 trends they need to understand. A new skill set: Professionals with IT backgrounds are in high demand as companies more frequently turn to analytics. IT programs and SCM initiatives are complex, so it takes a new type of professional to efficiently operate them. A breeding ground for competition: Companies have plenty of options when it comes to their SCM processes. If your technology isn t user friendly and accurate, you ll be replaced. IT service providers have no room for error. The Global Outlook Advancement in SCM practices is creating a shift in skill sets and a simultaneous shortage in talent. Supply chains are becoming powerful tools for business success, faster than their operators can keep up. One of the driving factors behind the higher demand for supply chain professionals is the rise of social, mobile and cloud technologies. Customers now expect products to be delivered much more quickly. This added responsibility has fallen onto supply chain managers, and their list of required skills has suddenly exploded due to consumer demand. Companies now search for talent in different places, since they need professionals with stronger IT backgrounds. In the 2014 Supply Chain Talent Report, Lora Cerere wrote, While employees for the first generation supply-chain talent were recruited from engineering programmes primarily chemical, mechanical and industrial engineers today s entry-level employees are coming from business school supply-chain programmes. Securing talent is the biggest risk supply chain companies currently face, as the talent pool hasn t caught up with the growing list of demands they need to meet. Ken Chadwick of U.S. industry research firm Gartner s, says competition for talent is so extreme that % of future supply chain graduates will have jobs landed before they receive their diplomas. Potential Career Paths A career in SCM can be quite flexible. There s so much expected of individuals in the field that unique hybrid positions always will be a possibility. Your career will be determined by your goals and how well you market yourself. Where you land a career will also be dictated by your target organization s tangibles, such as its size, scope and organizational structure. 6

7 As with many professions, your knowledge up front will get you in the door, but your skills are what will keep you there. For supply chain, knowledge of different processes and experience can get you a job. The career path usually starts at management trainee or junior analyst roles. The next step from there can be SCM leadership positions, but you always have the option of branching off into different sectors of your company. SCM careers connect you with every facet of the organization. You ll interact with logistics, marketing and analytics. Success in SCM requires an eye for detail and strong communication skills. There are many career paths in SCM. Here are a few of the more popular roles: Materials Analyst: They are responsible for overseeing inventory levels and juggling purchasing and material budgets. They also do administrative work such as scheduling and forecasting. Business process knowledge is sought in candidates looking for these roles, as employers want as few errors as possible. Procurement Analyst: These managers are in charge of their company s purchasing responsibilities. Their role involves identifying suppliers and then negotiating prices and contracts with them. They often find themselves teamed up with purchasing and manufacturing managers to put together cohesive purchasing plans for their company. Logistics Analyst: Their responsibilities include everything from distribution operations to customer service. Senior roles usually involve managing teams composed specifically of analysts. Warehouse Operations Manager: These managers mainly work in retail or distribution and industries, although they sometimes work in transportation as well. They manage things such as product placement at warehouse facilities and ensure there are accurate inventory levels for all products. Supply Chain Consultant: Candidates pursuing these positions usually have MBA credentials. They partner with analysts and project managers to create consultation teams responsible for examining and improving the organization s procedures and processes. They then go on to create business plans aimed at minimizing costs and raising overall product quality. 7

8 Promotion Potential A survey of more than 6,000 supply chain and operations management professionals spotlighted the skills necessary for advancement in SCM. According to the survey, the five most popular attributes are: Experience level Proven performance and a record of accomplishment Targeted knowledge and proficiency in a specific discipline Maintaining professional standards with work completed Expressed dedication to the company and their consumers The findings show that it doesn t take a lifetime to move up in SCM. What it does take is ownership and professionalism when it comes to your craft. Supply Chain Management: Going Green SCM is making major advancements with green technology. Environmentally sound practices not only curb business costs, they also garner public support and loyalty as companies using these techniques receiver favorable branding. It s not all for public perception, though. Green practices are saving companies big money. For instance, General Motors trimmed their disposal expenses by $12 million when they implemented a reusable container program with their product manufacturers. The supply chain touches every facet of a business. When you re-examine it with a green mentality, you find that money can be saved in virtually every phase. All it takes is some creative thinking. Supply chain management is responsible for the production of everything from thimbles to space shuttles. It s a great way to reduce expenses, build customer loyalty and positively impact the environment. The variance in job titles is why it s currently one of the most popular career paths in the logistics industry. The University of San Francisco is helping connect professionals with the career path they ve always dreamed of by offering their Advanced Professional Supply Chain Management and their Advanced Professional Sustainable Supply Chain Management Certificates. These programs will introduce you to the skills and concepts you need to forge a path of your own in Supply chain management. 8

9 References 1. University Alliance. What Is the Importance of Supply Chain Management? Last Ref. Oct. 20, Mack, Stan. Explain the Term Supply Chain and Its Importance to Cost Management. smallbusiness.chron.com, Houston Chronicle. Last Ref. Oct. 20, Gemma, Will. Importance of Supply Chain Management: Bigger Than Business. blog.udemy.com. Udemy. April 17, Last Ref. Oct. 20, Logistics Past, Present, and Future. supplychainmit.com. MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics. April 3, Last Ref. Oct. 20, The future of the business: Supply chains. economistinsights.com. The Economist. Last Ref. Oct. 20, Operations and Supply Chain Management Career Paths and Patters. apics.org. APICS Last Ref. Oct. 20, Careers in Supply Chain Management. careersinsupplychain.org. Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. Last Ref. Oct. 20, Editors, Career Overview: Supply Chain Management. wetfeet.com. Wetfeet, LLC. Dec. 3, Last Ref. Oct. 20, Occupational Outlook Handbook: Logisticians. bls.gov. U.S. Department of Labor. Jan Last Ref. Oct. 20, Occupational Outlook Handbook: Purchasing Managers, Buyers, and Purchasing Agents. bls.gov. U.S. Department of Labor. Jan. 8, Last. Ref. Oct. 20, Occupational Outlook Handbook: Operations Research Analysts. bls.gov. U.S. Department of Labor. Jan. 8, Last Ref. Oct. 20, Occupational Outlook Handbook: Material Recording Clerks. bls.gov. U.S. Department of Labor. Jan. 8, Last Ref. Oct. 20,

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